Words have a powerful effect on people.

I read a great article today on facebook. It talks about what a SAHM needs from her husband, and how they can better support each other and create a ore loving, thriving marriage. I want to share this letter with you, in the hopes that it can help spark a talk, or a notion that can help you in your relationship.

I read through this letter, and thought, ‘damn!’, I really need to take this to heart. I rarely take GNO because I don’t think I need them…but I feel so much better when I do go out with the girls. And I don’t give my husband enough credit for having worked a long hard day at work, I expect him to come in right away and be family man. I think it would help our relationship out dramatically if he decompressed for half an hour or so before coming home on especially rough or tiring days. I also wish I could be responsible enough to cook a dinner and have it ready every night, but it just seems like that will never happen *sigh* And it’s too much of a hassle for Josh to work a 9 hour day, commute home, and then cook for the family…so my family is suffering a bit on the nutritional side of things until I get the cooking thing down more. I also wish I was more appreciated for the things I DO actually do. The way this woman describes a trip to the pool with 4 kids is spot on, and my hubby seems to think it was just a walk in the park. I sometimes wonder if he thinks that they don’t actually run wild and screaming all over the place and that they really just sit quietly on their chairs and read the Bible while each other child gets a turn in the water.

And about the secretly loving the attention your spouse hands out…it’s true…after having 4 children ripped out of my body, it’s nice to know someone still finds me attractive. I won’t say anything about the non-sexual touch, because I’m the one who wants it more often in my relationship, lol, so no need to touch on that…and then the talk about trips versus vacations..of so true!

We go on family vacations and come home more tired than when we left! I’m dying for the kids to get a little older, and we can leave them with a sitter and feel less guilty about it,. Then we’ll  get a ‘real’ vacation, one with a hotel, and no kids, and us getting to do exactly what we’d like for a day or two. I’m grateful for my children and all, but eventually one day they’ll leave and go on their own way…I’m still going to have my husband, so I need to nurture that relationship just as much as I nurture the relationships I have with my children.

And some of these things I definitely need to vamp up in my own life. I need to stop comparing. I need to look forward to dates with my husband more often. I need to not dump all my day’s problems on him the minute he walks in the door. But I also need more praise. I like it to be noticed when he mentions something and I take note and it’s done without him asking. Like I’m willing to bet you money he won’t notice the sheets on our bed have been washed and put back on for him, just because he was complaining about how dirty the bed was this morning. I do it because I love him, but I’m a lot more motivated when I get praised and noticed for the hard work I do put in, even though I have my personal struggles, I do try and put in effort and I like to be noticed for it. I probably need to work harder on praising Josh as well, so one more thing for me to improve on as well.

And the very last part…about there being no one other person I’d rather be going through these struggles with…so true.

It’s been 7 years, and it’s still just as true today as it was those 7 years ago.

I often hear young moms complaining about their needs not being met.  About things they wish they had, wish they received, wished their husbands did…  And I realized…  not all husbands “get it.”  Some take longer to learn their wives than others.  And some wives don’t help the situation at all.  We play games.  We expect much but express little.  Today, I felt compelled to write a letter.  On behalf of stay at home moms.  If you’ve never said it.  Or he’s never “gotten it.”  I hope this helps.

To: My Husband.

From: Your Stay at Home Wife/Mom.

I used to think it would be so romantic if you just knew me so well, that you knew exactly what I needed.  I would never have to verbally share with you my needs because if you really loved me, you would know what they were, even before I did.  You, my love, were to be nothing less than a mind reader. It sounded fabulous and romantic.   However, we’ve been married awhile now. And reality has set in.  You are an amazing man.  An incredible husband.  But I must tell you: You are horrible at mind reading.  And it’s not your fault.  I now get it.  It’s physically impossible. There’s nothing you can do to acquire this superpower that I wish you possessed.   So today, I am declaring that I am letting you off the hook.  No more guessing.  No more expectations unmet.  Today, I lay it out.  I’m giving you a peek into me.  But once you know, you are responsible for that knowledge.  No more playing dumb.  No more acting clueless.  You can choose to stop reading here if you enjoy the guessing game.  Ah, you’re still reading?  Awesome.  I love that about you.  You’re IN.  I knew it.

OK wait.  Before I express my needs, let me explain something that might be difficult to understand:

I love our kids.  I love my role as a mom.  But honestly?  It’s tough.  And here’s the tricky part – those 2 things DO co-exist.  One doesn’t trump the other or cancel it out. I love it – And I’m tired. It’s an honor – But it’s exhaustingly hard work.  I’m fulfilled – And I’m drained.  Get it?  Me either.  It’s tricky and complex.  But it’s called Motherhood and I’m in the thick of it.  OK, so in light of that, here’s what I need.  Or want.  TomAto….TomAHto. Here’s the reality in no particular order….

1) I need to refuel.  And it’s not by grocery shopping with only 1 kid instead of all 3.  I need to get out of the house.  Alone.  I need to ride in my car and listen to adult music.  I want to use the public restroom in the small stall. The one without the changing station.  Alone.  I don’t need extravagance.  [I mean, I won’t turn down extravagance, of course.  But I don’t need it.] 😉 You know what I’d love?  To wander the isles of Target for an hour.  Or to sit at Starbucks alone for 30 minutes.  Or to walk in a shopping mall without pushing a stroller.  It really is that easy.  Will I come back completely changed and ready to conquer the world? Honestly?  Sometimes yes.  But mostly, no.  But what I WILL come back with, is a little more life in me.  I will have a spring in my step.  It’s a little shot in the arm.  I reeeeallly need this.  When you ask if I want it, and I say, “I’m OK.”  I need you to tell me to go anyway.

2) Please don’t call and ask what’s for dinner.  If anything, call and ask, “Do we have dinner plans?  If not, can I stop by the store and pick anything up?”  I love you.  And I love providing nourishment for our family.  But when I have spit up running down into my bra and a toddler who just learned to take off his own dirty diaper, The Call adds that little extra pressure in my day that just makes me want to accidentally change the locks on the front door.

3) When I take the kids to the pool, please know that I didn’t spend the day poolside with a cocktail.  Sometimes I feel like that’s how you view the life of a stay at home mom.  In reality, every 2 minutes, I’m doing roll call to make sure everyone is above water.  “1..2..3..…1…2…3…” over and over and over and over.  I’m changing poopy swim diapers on hot concrete and peeling wet swimsuits off tiny bodies because they have to go potty AGAIN.  I’m schlepping towels and sunblock and swimming goggles and dive toys and flippers and water shoes and cover ups and diapers and wipes and snacks and drinks.  I have one child who has no fear of water and is jumping into areas he’s not allowed to, and another child who’s deathly afraid of the water and is leaving claw marks in my arm.  Blood has been drawn.  A walk in the park is not a walk in the park.  It’s chasing, and counting, and disciplining and refereeing.. A day at the pool is all of that, in a big hole of water.  Attempting to avoid death.  For real.

4) I’ve been nursing a baby all day long.  My “nursers” are over stimulated.  The last thing I desire when you get home from work, is to have one more person perusing the “food court.”  Those are not yours right now.  They are on loan to the person they were actually created for.   Your time will come.  It’s just not today.  If you will understand this and not let it become a point of tension, I’m certain you’ll get extra rewards in heaven.

5) However, when we’re home and you walk by me in the kitchen and grab my butt, and I swat you away, I don’t mean it.  I secretly love that you still want to be playful and frisky.  The timing may not be right, or I just don’t know what to do with your playfulness because my brain is counting the number of loads of laundry waiting for me.  But please don’t stop.  I need to know you still like me.  I understand this is confusing in light of the point above.  I can’t explain everything.  I’m just informing.  I’m complex like that.

6) I need a Girls Night Out every once in awhile.  While we both know you rock, I  need some time with girlfriends as well.  Unless, of course, you would like to discuss bikini waxing, my period and the latest fashion trends with me.  No?  Cool. Girl’s Night Out it is.

7) I need non-sexual touch.  I know you don’t quite understand what that is.  Just pretend it’s valuable and possible.  The grabbing mentioned above is fun and all, but sometimes I just want to feel your arm on my shoulder, without it slowly moving a few inches south.  I need your physical affection without motive.  I need to know that you like to just be with me.

8) When you walk in the door, let’s make a deal:  You won’t walk straight to the family room and collapse on the couch with the remote… And I won’t greet you at the door with all 5 kids, dump them on you and clock out.  When you come home from work, let’s do it together. Share the load.  If you need to decompress from your day at work, please take the long way home.  Drive around the block a few extra times if you need to.  Just don’t walk in and disconnect.  You are my Knight.  I love knowing you’re coming home.  I can’t feel like I have another child to care for when you walk in the door from work.  I need my partner.  My teammate.

9) That trip we took with the kids was awesome. We created family memories.  We had fun.  But that’s exactly what it was – a “trip.”  I now need a “vacation.”  A vacation is like a trip.  Just without the diapers and wipes and baby food and high chairs and primary color toys.  Oh, and without the tiny humans that come with those things.  Don’t get me wrong, I love those tiny humans. But a break to refuel, refresh, clear my mind, etc..is invaluable.  I have no way to explain what a true vacation will do to me. Other than to say hotel room sex is fabulous.  The end.

10) When you come home to a clean house, be assured it didn’t look like that hours earlier. There were crackers smashed on the floor, toys everywhere, food smeared on walls, 8 outfit changes from our preschool daughter strewn around the house…  If you come home to a clean house, please notice.  Please say something.  Acknowledge that it obviously took superhuman powers to get it to the state it is.  It sounds silly and needy.  Maybe I am.  But you know that “atta boy” you got from your boss at work that made your day?  Ya, I need that too.

11) When we go to a restaurant, sometimes I need you to offer to sit next to ‘the kid.’  You know, the one that needs extra assistance.  The one that cries and grabs and throws and needs.  When I say, “No, it’s OK. I’ll sit next to The Child” I need you to gift me with the break anyway.  I’m not saying every time.  But we both know that going to restaurants with The Child is difficult. I’d so appreciate sharing that load with you.

12) I need to go on a date.  With you.  I need to wear clothes that don’t smell like any type of child’s body fluid.  I need to order food for just me.  I need to eat it while it’s hot.  I need to look into your eyes.  I need to hold your hand.  I need adult conversation.  And while the topic of kids might creep into our conversation, let’s commit to keeping that to a minimum.  We spent so much of our dating years getting to know each other. Asking questions.  I was your student and you were mine.  A lot has happened since then.  You and I have changed and grown. Let’s learn about each other again.  Re-discover who we are today.  Let’s know and be known.   Let’s date.

13) Let’s commit to not comparing.  My friend might be prettier.  Or a better homemaker.  Or parent with ease.  Her husband might be more romantic.  Or more successful.  Or a more engaged father.  There’s always going to be someone who does what we do, but better.  Or so it seems.  Let’s commit to not comparing.  Comparison will steal our joy.  It will take the wind out of our sail.  It will make us feel defeated.  Or frustrated. Or angry.  Or all of the above.  Let’s be honest – everyone else is just as messed up as we are.  We just see the beautiful, shiny outsides of them that they put on display, and tend to compare it to the dysfunctional, broken insides of ourselves that only we know.  Let’s just be the best “us”we can be – keeping our eyes ONLY on OUR path.  I love you.  I chose you and you chose me.  Let’s be in for US and US only.

Thank you for hearing me.

You may not understand it all.  I don’t even know if I do.

This season is glorious and difficult.

And in all the uncertainty, the only thing I do know is there is NO ONE I’d rather do this with, than you.

You are exactly the “who” I need.

The other stuff is just the “what” I’d love from you.  I ask you to just try.

And if you’re willing, I’d love a list like this from you in return.
This is a tough season for us both. I know you have needs you rarely express as well and I’d love a peek into those if you’d be willing to share.

I love you and love that we’re living in what we’ll someday call “the good old days.”

You have my heart forever.

I’m giving credit to Deanna Rischer Ramsay because that is the page this was shared from. I don’t know where she got it from, but it is awesome.

Day 7:If you want something done right…

Today I’m writing about the Social Isolation/Alienation Schema…If you remember, this schema refers to the belief that one is isolated from the world, different from other people, and/or not part of any community. This belief is usually caused by early experiences in which children see that either they, or their families, are different from other people.

This ties into my writing over the last few days, where I’ve mentioned how much I stuck out in school for being who I was. I’ve stuck out everywhere I can think of my entire life.I played baseball as a kid and stuck out there because not only was I terrible at it, but my brother was one of the star players. Oh, and I was the only girl on the team. I was deeply ashamed of the fact that I couldn’t play, and that the entire team looked down upon me, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I was maybe 10 when this was happening. That’s just one example of how much I stuck out as a kid. I continued to stick out in school, not just for being smart, but because my clothes weren’t ‘the right style’, and I didn’t have the confidence to pull off what I was wearing. And as I’ve said earlier, sticking out in an inner city school was horrible.

So I think those events coupled with being ignored by the people who mattered most to me led to me feeling alone in the world, and that I was the only one who looked out for me. I’ve always been the one who’s said if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself, and it’s how I’ve lived my life to a point. In some cases it’s just extreme  I mean, I do all the finances for the house, and don’t let any one help with that, But in other matters I turn a mole hill into a mountain. I insist on taking the kids to the doctors because I worry something might be missed unless I was otherwise there to catch it. We’ve had a few scares the doctors before so I can try and recognize where that one is probably coming from as well.

I’m starting to think these schemas are all meshed together in some ways. Kind of like a Gordion  knot that is warped around itself, you’ll never separate all the pieces. I still have’t talked about my Self-Sacrifice shema, or insufficient self control or my unrelenting standards schemas. And those one are definitely affecting me in the here and now, whereas I think because of the progress I’ve made with my other 2 schemas, social isolation is one I can put on the back burner.

I’m learning to love me, a little  and I’m slowly reaching out of my comfort zone to show my friends the ‘genuine’ me, and they’ve seemed to like it so far.

So I’m going to call this a schema in passing. It’s not dead to me yet, but if I keep up the hard work on my other schemas, it soon will be. (I can almost hear the bugle playing its mournful tune, can you?)

What about you? Are there any other schemas you’ve recognized in yourself that you can improve upon, and maybe even acknowledge that they are no longer negatively impacting your life? Tell me in the comments section, please!

Day 6: A not so ordinary day…no schema therapy today :):

I think writing all these posts are dragging me down because I’ve really been struggling to stay ‘upbeat and positive’ the last few days. I’ve been sleeping more, and dragging more, and had a lot less motivation to get things accomplished. Everyone has been complaining about it, my husband is upset at the state of the house, my mum thinks I’m spiraling into a depression, and I feel like the world is blah. I’ve got to keep plugging along though, if I can just pull through I think it will ultimately be beneficial.

So we’ve discussed my mistrust/abuse schema, and the defectiveness/shame schema. I feel like I’ve made excellent progress in understanding them and myself better, but today I’ll work on another topic and ponder on the ways I can change how I view the world.

This has been a hard day for me to write and keep on going with the schema topic. I haven’t mentioned this before because it hasn’t come up, but my husband was told that he was losing his job 3 weeks ago. He had a year to find new employment or else he could relocate to Oregon and work there. Well, my husband didn’t like those options, so he brushed off the dust on his resume, sent it out, had some interviews and just got offered a job today! We’re so excited, but I’m petrified at the same time.

It’s an awesome pay raise, which our family could use, seeing as we’ve been barely scraping by, but the thing that scares me the most is the insurance changes. You see, I’m quite involved with how our insurance works, due to my extensive health problems and such. We have excellent benefits, and thanks to my hospital stay back in March, we maxed out our of pocket out early in the year. So we paid nothing for doctor visits and don’t (or didn’t) have to pay anything until the end of the year. 

Now that Josh is changing jobs, I’m suddenly forced to make a command decision on which of the two insurance options I should go with, which is best for our family, and what is going to be most cost effective in the long run. It’s a lot of pressure to be under, and I can’t get any answers from BCBS until Monday when they are open again. So I get to spend all weekend stewing and worrying about stuff until I can get my questions answered.

The one thing I’d like to emphasize here has nothing to do with insurance, or pay raises, or any mundane things like that. I’ve been worried about the job thing for the last 3 weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer pondering this matter and praying for a miracle to happen. I never lost sight of the fact that God works on his own time, and I had to go about patiently doing my part while I waited for him to answer my prayer, but I still kept the faith that God had heard my pleadings and would ultimately open a door that led to what was best for us. And he did! 

I know from hard experience not all prayers are answered in 3 weeks, or answered so clearly, but this is such a blessing for our family.

It is creating some stresses for us because he will now be commuting to work whereas before he worked 3 minutes away. We only have one car that is fit for that kind of driving, but it is also the only car that will fit our entire family, so we’d be stranded at home all day if he were to take that car. We want to eventually move closer to his job and there is a house that is practically begging us to move into it, but our lease here isn’t up until March. I would love to see if our landlords would let us break our lease, but we can’t afford to lose our deposit. I know it wouldn’t be difficult at all to find new tenants here, our neighbor just rented her house out and it took less than 2 weeks for her to find someone appropriate to move in. First world problems eh?

This wouldn’t be a big deal if we didn’t have 2 kids in grade school and our lease being up in the middle of the school year. The other thing that saddens me is the fact that I love our ward, I love our home (even if it is a bit cramped at the moment, lol), and I especially love the school the kids go to. I guess I need to spend more time on my knees to get help in working out this conundrum, eh? 

Not to be all preachy, but I know I’m nothing without the help of my Heavenly Father, and it helps keep humble…or at least I try to stay humble. I struggle at times, just like every other mortal, but miracles like these only increase my faith and help strengthen my testimony. I hope that this story can help you see the hand of God in all things, and be reminded that He loves you just as much as he loves my family, and He’s there waiting for you to turn to Him when you need Him.

I’ve loved each and every one fo you who have taken the time to read my blog and especially those of you who have taken the time to comment. I know your lives get busy, so I especially appreciate you. What’s going on in your life right now? Good or bad, I want to know. Let me be a listening ear in addition to just a mouth on the web.